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Audio-Technica ATM350a Microphone Systems

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Audio-Technica ATM350a Microphone Systems Kit
 Audio-Technica ATM350a Microphone Systems Kit  
Audio-Technica ATM350a Microphone Systems Kit
 Audio-Technica ATM350a On Upright Piano  
Audio-Technica's ATM350a condenser microphone is used in each of the six different instrument microphone kits that come with the proper mounting hardware for getting the mic's capsule exactly where you need it to be for good sound and controlling unwanted ambient noise.

The ATM350a microphone is a small, cardioid electret condenser microphone that has a 40Hz to 20kHz response and is capable of 159dB SPL. There are optional, interchangeable hypercardioid and omnidirectional capsules also available. The ATM350a connects using a thin 4-meter long cable and locking 4-pin connector to either Audio-Technica's UniPak® body-pack wireless transmitters or, for wired stage and studio operation, the AT8543 remote power module. The power module has a male XLR output connector, runs on 11 to 52-volts phantom power and includes an 80Hz roll-off switch. For my testing in the studio I used the mic and this power module.

Audio-Technica ATM350a Microphone Systems Kit
 Audio-Technica ATM350a On Sax  
The ATM350a mic is designed to attach directly on the musical instrument itself. All the ATM350 kits consist of a mic, power module and cable, carrying case, an instrument-specific mount, plus a miniature gooseneck with built-in windscreen and hook-and-loop fasteners to keep the mic cable out of the way and tidy. The goosenecks come in either 5 or 9-inch lengths plus all individual components of these kits are available separately.

A-T has designed two kits for violin (or any stringed/bowed instrument) called the ATM350U with a 5-inch gooseneck (violin) and the ATM350UL with 9-inch gooseneck for (presumably) larger cellos and basses. Besides the basic flat hook-and-loop mount you can attach the mic just behind the bridge on a violin or cello, both the kits include the AT8491U Universal Clip-on mount. I found the Universal Clip-on mount great for attaching to any instrument--it is adjustable, precision-made and as invisible for stage use such as large string sections on stage.

Next I used the AT8491P Magnetic Piano mount that is part of the ATM350PL kit. Using the nine-inch gooseneck mount, I attached the mic to the harp of the school's Falcone upright piano and instantly got a full range, rich piano sound with just the one mic. I'd love to try two of these kits on piano! I had a lot of output level from the ATM350a to work with and this is the simplest and fastest piano sound without mic stands!

I thought the ATM350a mic sounded thick and fat on toms and snare drums in the studio's kit with plenty of sound to EQ to taste. I used the 80Hz roll-off to counteract proximity when I placed it close to the floor tom and I was surprised by how much inter-drum isolation I got.

The ATM350D kit comes with the AT8491D Drum mount that was, by far, the most clever of the mounts. It is a spring-loaded clasp that clips under the drum's rim and provides an extension shaft for the tuning lug so you don't lose access to it yet are able to aim the mic anywhere you like. Like all the mounts, there is a thumbscrew to secure the gooseneck to it and I liked that all the mounts do not mar or scratch an instruments finish and they all quickly attach and de-attach.

For woodwind instruments, the AT8691W Woodwind mount is a Velcro strap that wraps around the instrument's body at any convenient place to hold the mount and 5-inch gooseneck as included in the ATM350W kit. You might see this soon if you like saxophone--just wrap the AT8691W around near the bell end of the sax and bend the 5-inch gooseneck and mic to aim back at the bell.

Lastly is the ATM350UcW kit which is like the ATM350U Violin kit except it does not have the power module and is designed to work directly with the Audio-Technica UniPak body-pack wireless transmitters. It sells for $199 MSRP.

The Audio-Technica ATM350a Microphone System kits range in price from $199 to $349 MSRP and accessories and different mounts, goosenecks range from $30 to $89 MSRP.

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